Nigerian Artiste, Akitoye Balogun popularly known as Ajebutter22, sits with Chude Jideonwo, founder of Joy, Inc., on a recent episode of #WithChude, to discuss when the music wasn’t working, his creative process, and his new album, ‘Soundtrack to the good life.’
He shared his creative process in producing EPs and albums. “EP is less pressure, it is a freeing experience, you just have fun and make the music. For me, an album feels like pressure, for me to make an album I must go through depression. There is self-doubt, ‘is this good enough?’. There is so much overthinking. But all that doesn’t matter, because, for all the questions you ask yourself, you will still not know the answer. The best thing to do is release it, it is better to fail fast, if you are going to fail you are going fail.”
On his new album, he shared, “I am trying to give us an opportunity to escape. It is an opportunity to japa, but you don’t have to physically japa, you can do it in your mind. The album is the ‘Soundtrack to the goodlife’, from butter nation. Butter nation is not just my fan base, it is a place I invented. Imagine a West African country without the problems we are facing, and it has all the good things we have in Nigeria, and combining that with good things in everywhere and everyone”.
He also shared how he gets to retain his sanity while living in Lagos, he said, “I have deliberately designed my life to be like that because I can afford to, when I couldn’t afford to it was first a mental state. My last album was called ‘What happens in Lagos’, the album before that was called, ‘Anytime soon’, as per when I blow. All the energy I take I just pour into the music. Everybody in Nigeria has an escape; some people’s escape is to be loud and aggressive, and some people is to be chill, it all about the personality, but everybody has their way to escape. At this stage I am now, I have tried very much to control my environment”.
Ajebutter22 also shared about what he did when the music wasn’t working and he dealt with the temptation of switching to other sounds. “I have other options; I didn’t think that music is the end. I went to look for job, although I was still making music. But then, what worked for me in music, was me and my own style. So, I won’t go and try something else. As a musician, you will always go back to what works for you. If the first time I made a hit there were 20 people in the room anytime I am recording I will want 20 people in the room. So, I just went back to what worked for me. Even at the time when music wasn’t working, I was looking for jobs, I applied to Oando, Total, I even failed a personality test.”
Watch the excerpts from the interview here:
#WithChude is a network of media products across TV, Film and podcasts telling stories that enable and strengthen the mind, the heart, and the spirit. The weekly interviews are widely syndicated across terrestrial television and social media platforms reaching an average of 8 million people weekly – positioning it as the most watched and most syndicated weekly talk show (digital + traditional) in the region. It has become a safe space for guests to talk about things publicly for the first time. Actor Joke Silva revealed that her husband Olu Jacobs was dealing with dementia with Lewy body for the first time on the show, and producer Kemi Afolabi opened up about her experience dealing with Lupus on #WithChude. That month, Lupus and Kemi Afolabi were among the top Google Nigeria searches. The interviews have been featured everywhere, from the BBC to the New York Times. The documentary and travelogue series #ChudeExplains has tackled issues from criminal justice reform to Gen Z coming of age. The show launches the #WithChude Global series in 2023.